Dell Mini 9 Discussion Discussion on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 05:20 AM
Had my mini for about two weeks now. I installed Win7 on it as soon as I got it. It ran like a CHAMP. Never crashed on me, fast as lightning. I was very impressed.
So I'm sitting on the couch, watching TV, my wife wants to try out Skype, so I'm getting her mini set up with it while I'm surfing around, and I see theres a BIOS update. Awesome, i think. So I grab the file and download it. I'd had some concerns that it was running pretty warm during CPU intense applications (Outlook 2007 open, Chess, Antivirus running background services, and Firefox downloading), so I was looking through the forums to see how people were dealing with heat problems, specifically about the thermal pads that come misaligned.
I ran the bios app from the desktop. It was plugged in, I had a full charge, and I had applications open (it said to close them - so I was in the process of doing so before I started), and it was running a bit too warm, so I was just about to close things down to power it down too cool off before I flashed it (I'd done nothing more than open the exe - hit no buttons, nothing) - when the mouse stopped moving. Screen was still lit up, desktop was still there, but no response. I let it sit for a minute or two thinking maybe it was running some i/o intense stuff, but no response. So I powered it down.
Then I powered it back up. And nothing happened. The light stays on whenever its plugged in, but I get no desktop. I pulled the battery, I replaced the battery, I tried it plugged in, I tried it unplugged, I did anything I could flipping think of. But nothing worked. My mini seems to be toast.
At this point, the On/Off light (not the battery light) comes on when I plug it in, and when I unplug it and power it up, the light comes on as per usual, but I get no display. I hit the power button and hold it down for 5 seconds, and it goes out. I've tried hooking it up to an external display, but nothing comes up there either. I can't see if the drive is doing anything because there's no activity light, and there's no caps/num lock light to give me signs of life that way either. If I turn it on while running on battery and leave it on, it generates heat - that tells me something's happening?
Now, oddly enough, my wife said hers was getting really, really warm today too. She turned it off, and it wouldn't come back on. She pulled the battery, let it cool, and about 5 minutes later it came up right as rain. Obviously, no such luck for me.
Sadly, I've just found http://mydellmini.com/forum/bios-a02...914.html#p6885 and http://mydellmini.com/forum/bios-a02...s40.html#p8359 talking about a bricked mini. Tell me this isnt so. Tell me they didnt ACTUALLY put out an app that says "Close everything!" then actually BEGINS to flash the bios before you confirm it. Please, tell me there's hope for my mini beyond sending it back to the factory to have it defiled (http://mydellmini.com/forum/bios-a02...60.html#p10215)...
Join Date: Feb 2009
Re: Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 06:21 AM
based on the links you supplied, you bricked your mini. all the posts i've read recommend performing bios update in DOS
Join Date: Oct 2008
Re: Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 08:17 AM
You may be able to recover your bricked Mini but only thru the use of external USB floppy drive...
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Re: Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 01:46 PM
Yes, the mistake the OP made was to shutdown the mini while it was flashing the bios. Patience. Flashing typcially takes a long time as it needs to 1. store a backup, 2. erase, 3. write, 4. verify. Writing is the longest procedure.
I've used the windows exe each time I've updated the bios and it's worked flawlessly. I prefer it over DOS but I acknowledge the risks.
I hope the OP can find an external floppy and try to fix his mini and report back on his success and/or failure. :|
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Re: Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 01:48 PM
The issue is that Dell released it and while it may work, it doesn't give you any indication that it does. Especially since it automatically does it. I thought mine had frozen as well, as I couldn't do anything at all in the OS. Not good.
Either way, the USB floppy trick works quite well.
Join Date: Apr 2009
Re: Bios flash bricked?? You've got to be kidding. - 04-26-2009, 05:34 PM
So first off, thanks everyone for the responses, especially so quickly. Greatly appreciated.
I'm going to try to get my hands on a USB floppy drive. But let me ask this - does it have to be a floppy? Or are we talking any USB flash device? I have plenty of those on hand, and not so many floppies.
And second, I'd like to reply to this statement:
"Yes, the mistake the OP made was to shutdown the mini while it was flashing the bios. Patience. Flashing typcially takes a long time as it needs to 1. store a backup, 2. erase, 3. write, 4. verify. Writing is the longest procedure."
Yes, I agree that shutting it down during the flashing was a mistake. As a relatively educated computer user, I know full well that when something as critical as a BIOS flash is in progress, you leave it the hell alone. My issue with this is that the damn thing didn't TELL me it was flashing. Every other bios flash util I've used (and I've used my fair share) says "We're gonna flash your BIOS, OK? Tell me you want to continue." And sometimes they say "This could be problematic, are you SURE you want to continue?" Never, ever, have I used an app that opens itself up and just jumps right in.
It was a crap set of circumstances. The window was covered up (by firefox and my AV app as I was exiting it) when it locked up. It was running extremely hot, which lead me to believe it was an overheating issue, combined with an app that is (in my opinion) poorly designed. Add these together, and the OP ends up with a rather glossy paperweight. But hopefully to be recovered soon.
Thanks again everyone. I'll look forward to replies about the floppy drive, and if it has to be one or if a flash drive will be suitable.
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